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Advance Warnings Of After Christmas Traffic Delays

Transit Auckland Regional Office

26 November 2004

Media release

Advance warnings of major traffic delays after Christmas

Transit New Zealand is issuing an early warning to Auckland motorists about likely delays to motorway traffic on the Auckland Harbour Bridge (AHB) and through St Mary's Bay during and shortly after the holiday period.

Two major resealing projects are being undertaken between 27 December 2004 and 2 January 2005 and at night from 10 January 2005 until 13 January 2005. The advice to motorists is to consider temporarily changing their driving patterns and/or transportation options during the closures.

The first project is part of continuing resealing work essential to the upkeep of the AHB. The application of a new polyurethane surface will result in fewer delays due to lower maintenance requirements. From 6.00am on 27 December until 2 January (weather permitting) lanes 1 and 2 southbound will be closed. The Shelly Beach Road off-ramp will also be closed during this period. Southbound lanes 3 & 4 will remain open.

Transit Regional Manager (acting), Richard Hancy says that the work is unavoidable and has been scheduled for the least busy time of the year to minimise inconvenience to the public.

"Going by previous years, we are confident that the AHB resealing will cause minimum disruption," he says. "Weather permitting, the bridge will be fully opened before most Aucklanders return from the Christmas break. Provided people are aware of the closures, avoid peak times, and take alternative routes where they can, traffic should stay flowing."

The second stage of the work takes place at night from 10.00pm until 5.30am from 10 January until 13 January. Resurfacing work will be performed on the southbound section of motorway between the AHB through St Mary's Bay to the Victoria Park flyover. During most of this operation, two southbound lanes will be open to traffic in St Mary's Bay. However, at times overnight there will be only one lane open. Shelly Beach Road off-ramp and all lanes over the AHB will be open during this stage of closures.

"During stage two of the closures, overnight from 10 - 13 January, motorists heading south may wish to get off at the Shelly Beach Road off-ramp and rejoin the motorway at the Hobson Street on-ramp," says Mr Hancy. "If travelling in the southbound left hand lane of the Harbour Bridge you must come off at Shelly Beach Road, during this period."

Mr Hancy says it is very important that Auckland drivers are aware of the forthcoming delays, and where possible to plan for them. Alternative means of transport such as buses and ferries, and alternative routes, are suggested, as well as travelling at off-peak periods.

Transit will be reminding drivers of the closures closer to the time with advertising and community notices, as well as signage on the motorways and near the bridge. There will also be a free call number kept updated (0800 RESEAL).

ends

For further information
http://www.transit.govt.nz/

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